Six questions for
Markus von Platen

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Markus von Platen.

Artist Markus von Platen
Lives in Copenhagen, Denmark

How do you describe your own art practice?

I would describe it as a hybrid practice between managing an exhibition space and researching auditory and spatial formats of presentation. Since I moved back to Copenhagen from Brussels in 2022, I have mainly been focussing on the direction and development of the independent art center Simian, that I founded together with my colleagues Toke Flyvholm, Jan S. Hansen and Christian Vindelev. Before Simian, I was occupied with a studio and exhibition practice, but this is now extending more into an artistic and organisational role within a collective project. At the moment, I spend a great deal of my time on the curation and production of exhibitions, with all the related tasks that come with running a space. However, I also take time to develop my own artistic work, currently in the form of an investigation of sound and experimental music’s spatial and performative potential. My interest in sound further resonates into parts of the program at Simian, for example with the festival In Situ – Festival for Explorative Sound and Performance that takes place in its second edition the coming year.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

I can’t say that there is one specifically central, but what is important to me is developing Simian as an independent collective platform with an institutional framework. With this, I would like to propose a different model of co-production and mode of presentation. I’m currently enrolled in an executive education program for arts management, studying different forms of organizational theory which certainly influences my way of thinking. I find it especially interesting how certain types of “system sociology” can be applied in an artistic setting, by examining how artists and their audiences act within the social and spatial context of an institution.

What was your first experience with art?

In the nineties my parents were organizing an artist-run exhibition space called TAPKO in a former industrial area of Copenhagen. Here, I recall the experience of a specific performance, that I recently discovered was actually a work of the German artist Olaf Metzel and Brunner / Ritz. The performance consisted of a group of people that violently and musically smashed large quantities of empty beer bottles in cacophony with opera singers. I remember this made a very big impression on me back then – It would be interesting to see it again; with the background I now have.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

The work that other artists are presenting, whether its exhibitions, music, films, books. I don´t have a specific preference.

What do you need in order to create your work?

A possibility, a situation or a frame of presentation to bring something to the table. And an audience, in one form or another.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a surprise, nor is it one single artist or work. Even though I had very high expectations, Atonal Festival in Berlin this year managed to amaze me. Besides its spectacular location, the program included, what I consider, some of the most interesting and radical artists and music projects at the moment.

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